Microsoft sued for infringing patent on Live Tiles

Microsoft is facing a lawsuit from SurfCast, an operating system technology designer who filed a complaint yesterday in the U.S. District Court in Maine. The filing says that Microsoft infringes one its four patents, by "making, using, selling, and offering to sell devices and software products" covered by SurfCast's patent. This includes mobile devices using Windows Phone 7, Windows Phone 8, as well as Windows 8/RT devices, including the newly launched Surface tablet. The company has also added that Microsoft is contributing to infringement by encouraging developers to make apps tiles.

SurfCast claims that Microsoft has both directly and indirectly infringed on its patent and wants Microsoft to "account for and pay to SurfCast all damages caused to SurfCast by reason of Microsoft's patent infringement". On SurfCast's website the company says that they designed the "new concept" and filed for the patent related to "Tiles" in October 2000, with it being issued to them in April 2004. In the complaint SurfCast claims that Microsoft had knowledge of the 403 patent at least as early as April 21, 2009.

Source: Priorssmart Image: Microsoft

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How are Win8 tiles any different from Android Widgets? At least as far as the user is concerned anyway? In fact how are tiles any different from web slices and even Active Desktop that was introduced with IE4 in 1997?

They are all 'System and method for simultaneous display of multiple information sources' really.

To repeat what everyone else has said, the US patent system is fundamentally broken, especially with concern to software patents.

Slugsie said,
How are Win8 tiles any different from Android Widgets? At least as far as the user is concerned anyway? In fact how are tiles any different from web slices and even Active Desktop that was introduced with IE4 in 1997?

They are all 'System and method for simultaneous display of multiple information sources' really.

To repeat what everyone else has said, the US patent system is fundamentally broken, especially with concern to software patents.

I almost can't resist trolling your post with stuff like:. "They don't crash." "They don't consume massive amounts of RAM." and on and on.

(I almost drop kicked an Android phone across the room today for stupid design crap that had me annoyed, then trying to get the camera App to just load to take a quick picture in for a test project and then having to reboot because it locked up the radio chipset after a series of FC crap from the camera and the launcher. Which I think should earn a 'troll' pass, especially since I only made a couple of jokes. )

just complete idiots this other company. MS has patents filed before any of these losers and if you go back even windows mobile had some live tile function too. This will be tossed out on day one.

seriously? well c'mon, this is getting old. a company implements something and bam it's copyright infringement. jezzz...to all the ones out there, just find another way to milk money.


"Welcome

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

A Broadband Interface


SurfCast software is a 'broadband interface'.

Surfcast has recently been awarded it's first patent for 'a system and method for the simultaneous display of multiple information sources'.

We've built a new interface because there is a clear absence of basic tools to help people get the most out of broadband's speed.

We think a dramatic leap forward in the broadband experience will come when the fundamental capabilities of the browser evolve.

The browser was designed to navigate through text-heavy, static Web pages and it is not the most effective application to navigate and manage streaming content.

Broadband gives people the ability to view Web pages faster, but it also lets people have streaming content such as music and video.

There are no interfaces that really take advantage of the possibilities for the broadband user to manage multiple streams of content at the same time. Until now.
Broadband Transforms Interfaces

SurfCast's new type of interface is a complete departure from the browser 'page paradigm' and WIMP (Windows, Icons, Menus, Pointers). SurfCast makes concepts like 'browser', 'desktop', 'icon', 'history', and 'bookmark' obsolete.

Unlike existing interfaces and browsers, SurfCast's patented user interface technology exploits the power of broadband.

SurfCast software is unique because it takes several streams of content and integrates them into a single screen environment, enabling users to manage all of these streams at the same time.

SurfCast users can manage any content that can be viewed in a browser or media player--simultaneously, including: Web sites, Webmail, instant messaging, chat, streaming mp3 clips, photos, DVDs, Webcasts, and television.

For instance, people can listen to music, keep an eye on TV, while writing an email, and talking on the phone.
So What?

SurfCast creates faster paths to content, integrates it more easily, and enables people to better manage their content.

SurfCast expands the range of activities people perform in a broadband environment, making the experience more useful and fun.
"

this is what they said about their interface.

ctrl_alt_delete said,

this is what they said about their interface.

Oh no, I must have infringed on their patent back when I used active desktop with frames and then resized my open applications so I could see everything at once...

based on the site, they look like an OS which never left the drawing board stage

Their whole site simply says "We are an OS based on tiles"

so this company patented frames??? look at the images 2 posts up. those are frames like browser frames, not tiles like MS live tiles.

For those who think they never had a product:

http://web.archive.org/web/200...urfcast.com/screenshots.php

For those who want to snoop:

http://wayback.archive.org/web...///////www.surfcast.com////

First Patent: http://www.surfcast.com/images/pdfs/US6724403.pdf
Second Patent: http://www.surfcast.com/images/pdfs/US7028264.pdf
Third Patent: http://www.surfcast.com/images/pdfs/US7376907.pdf
Fourth Patent: http://www.surfcast.com/images/pdfs/US7987431.pdf

There are so many websites and interfaces I've seen over the years who could loosely be defined as violating this patent. From reading the technical stuff I think MS will be able to get around it. But hey, if there's one thing a Lawyer can do it's make an argument out of anything. I think this will be a case of Lawyers making a ******** of money and MS/SurfCast getting nothing.

P.S. I found all of this useful information in like 5 minutes... Much more useful information than this story provided... "Tech News - Expect Less"

Edited by MrHumpty, Oct 31 2012, 6:39pm :

MrHumpty said,
For those who think they never had a product:
P.S. I found all of this useful information in like 5 minutes... Much more useful information than this story provided... "Tech News - Expect Less"

That news site of yours is doing great!

"wants Microsoft to account for and pay to SurfCast all damages caused to SurfCast by reason of Microsoft's patent infringement"

So, nothing then...

I don't think they going to win. MS has an army of lawyers besides, this is ridiculous for most of us. they just made an ars of themselves. plus the same concept has been used for years in windows phone.

1) Microsoft has patents (as another user noted above), this will draw into question the validity, even if the other patent was issued earlier.

2) Tile UI is a concept that goes back to pre-Windows 1.0, and was the basis of the Windows 1.0 UI. Later versions of Windows have had Arrange - Tile Windows, which other than the 'border' is essentially the same concept, as it comes directly from Tile UI designs.

3) Just because their 'patent' tries to redefine what an Application, Icon, and Tile is, does not mean that it stands. If I call a Ball in my patent a non-circular 4 dimensional object, does not make it one. Their definition of Tile does not provide a proper distinction between an Application and it also fails to provide a distinction from Icons, as it states Icons are static, which they have not been static for a long time and have provided information going back to the 'Clock' Icon in Windows from the 1980s.


Sadly with US patent laws and the mess, they could make money off this.

Anyone else notice they specific use Microsoft Applications in their example of 'Tiles'?

yah this is complete nonsense, no product no case i think. I find it interesting how the homepage specifically states how MS are using live tiles as if that were there idea, would be interesting to see what the homepage said a few months ago.

I am pretty sure their intention is not to go and fight MS in court. They think MS will not want to waste their time, so they will just give out some pity money.

This is the stupidest troll I've seen in a long time. Their site SCREAMS a testament that it was thrown together. Who launches and hosts a site just to showcase patents, but not any sort of application of said patents? -___-

Bryan Harmon said,
This is the stupidest troll I've seen in a long time. Their site SCREAMS a testament that it was thrown together. Who launches and hosts a site just to showcase patents, but not any sort of application of said patents? -___-

"operating system technology designer" They design things, patent them, then sell them to people that want to turn the ideas in to something useful. I don't really see that its any different than other businesses, the product they are selling are the ideas.

I did some backtracking of the domain. It was registered in 1998. The original address was a Post Office Box in Belfast, Maine. In 2007 it was changed to a Post Office Box in Lincolnville, Maine. After that they switched the information to domain privacy services as of this month masking their location but I believe their Post Office Box is still in Maine at this point. It was prior to the change.

The odd part is at this point the domain is hosted by BlueHost. Who, with any credibility, uses BlueHost anyways?

P.S. - For their privacy I will not post their prior addresses but the website lists this has their office address (also in Maine).

22 Carroll Street
Portland, Maine
04102

[quote=P.S. - For their privacy I will not post their prior addresses but the website lists this has their office address (also in Maine).

22 Carroll Street
Portland, Maine
04102[/quote]


I'm sending them a lot of carrots along with 1000 bugs bunny to say "whats' up doc?"

shinji257 said,
I did some backtracking of the domain. It was registered in 1998. The original address was a Post Office Box in Belfast, Maine. In 2007 it was changed to a Post Office Box in Lincolnville, Maine. After that they switched the information to domain privacy services as of this month masking their location but I believe their Post Office Box is still in Maine at this point. It was prior to the change.

The odd part is at this point the domain is hosted by BlueHost. Who, with any credibility, uses BlueHost anyways?

P.S. - For their privacy I will not post their prior addresses but the website lists this has their office address (also in Maine).

22 Carroll Street
Portland, Maine
04102

This is not uncommon for smaller upstart companies to use 3rd party business addresses before gaining funding and office space. It is easier (in some states) to use rented 'box' space for business reasons than to declare and utilize space in a home that being residential cannot obtain business licenses, reseller permits, etc.

I know of a fairly large company we worked with that started as a box in a UPS store (before it was a UPS store) in San Diego, and now is quite successful.

I don't like the patent crap, although out of 'ignorance' this group of people honestly thought they were inventing something and when they found out that Tile UIs were an old idea, they changed the definitions to create distinction improperly.

What is wrong with Blue Host? I am not trolling but I have heard they are good. Perhaps I was misinformed.

shinji257 said,
I did some backtracking of the domain. It was registered in 1998. The original address was a Post Office Box in Belfast, Maine. In 2007 it was changed to a Post Office Box in Lincolnville, Maine. After that they switched the information to domain privacy services as of this month masking their location but I believe their Post Office Box is still in Maine at this point. It was prior to the change.

The odd part is at this point the domain is hosted by BlueHost. Who, with any credibility, uses BlueHost anyways?

P.S. - For their privacy I will not post their prior addresses but the website lists this has their office address (also in Maine).

22 Carroll Street
Portland, Maine
04102

I think SurfCasts.com is their real website. SurfCast.com is created to support their troll.... lolz 'they design an operating system....' ahahah

Had a look on their website and its an obvious troll, in no way have these guys ever had any intention of making anything with this. I wonder how long its been floated about inside MS and whether this could have just been a blanket patent (in case they make it).

You can view the patent PDF from their website, it shows some similarities but the way its implemented is way different....

http://www.surfcast.com/images/pdfs/US6724403.pdf

I'm just reading the meat of the patent: my favourite part so far is the hand-scrawled red circle around the word "cute" on page 31, and the word "informnative" (sic) on page 35 . The image of their concept on like page 3 is great too, because it looks like Windows 3.1.

But yeh, looks pretty trollish.

duddit2 said,
Had a look on their website and its an obvious troll, in no way have these guys ever had any intention of making anything with this. I wonder how long its been floated about inside MS and whether this could have just been a blanket patent (in case they make it).

You can view the patent PDF from their website, it shows some similarities but the way its implemented is way different....

http://www.surfcast.com/images/pdfs/US6724403.pdf

If you look at the web archive they used to have services & tech to aggregate information to save bandwidth etc. etc. It was just useless.

I had a look at your response and it only equates to MS Fanboi!

duddit2 said,
Had a look on their website and its an obvious troll, in no way have these guys ever had any intention of making anything with this. I wonder how long its been floated about inside MS and whether this could have just been a blanket patent (in case they make it).

You can view the patent PDF from their website, it shows some similarities but the way its implemented is way different....

http://www.surfcast.com/images/pdfs/US6724403.pdf

NeoPogo said,
I had a look at your response and it only equates to MS Fanboi!

And I looked at all your posts to date and it's obvious you hate MS.

primortal said,
I guess that WP7 doesn't have live tiles

Wonder why they when after W8 and not WP7.


Because there are and will be more Windows 8 devices than Windows Phone devices.

primortal said,
I guess that WP7 doesn't have live tiles

Wonder why they when after W8 and not WP7.

They are "devices using Windows Phone 7"

Well Microsoft has patent, No. 7,933,632 ('632): “Tile space user interface for mobile devices": http://www.pat2pdf.org/patents/pat7933632.pdf . So I don't see there is the issue for MS.

First they have to prove that MS live tiles not fall under MS patent. Then they have to prove it falls under their patent. Good luck with that. Their company may run out of business before they have a chance to make a case.

Edited by MDboyz, Oct 31 2012, 4:28pm :

MDboyz said,
Well Microsoft has patent, No. 7,933,632 ('632): “Tile space user interface for mobile devices": http://www.pat2pdf.org/patents/pat7933632.pdf . So I don't see there is the issue for MS.

First they have to prove that MS live tiles not fall under MS patent. Then they have to prove it falls under their patent. Good luck with that. Their company may run out of business before they have a chance to make a case.

And they have to prove there's no prior art that matches this...which is impossible, since this kind of colored GUI panels interface goes back to Amiga days at least!

that's just stupid first Microsoft was forced to change the amazing Name Metro because of some German company now they're being sued by some company who thinks they invited live tiles

Devmer11 said,
that's just stupid first Microsoft was forced to change the amazing Name Metro because of some German company now they're being sued by some company who thinks they invited live tiles
There's no first about it. Microsoft have been in these sort of litigation for decades with various companies. This sort of case is not new at all.

This is the name of the game when it comes to developing products.

Devmer11 said,
that's just stupid first Microsoft was forced to change the amazing Name Metro because of some German company now they're being sued by some company who thinks they invited live tiles

well i think this new patent law suit is a joke but the name is all M$'s fault.
Google Metro AG and you see it .
If M$ s too lazy to google the name they plan on using they deserve to be sued.

I am Not PCyr said,

well i think this new patent law suit is a joke but the name is all M$'s fault.
Google Metro AG and you see it .
If M$ s too lazy to google the name they plan on using they deserve to be sued.

Um, it wasn't because of the 'rumored' German company that they didn't officially use Metro, as it is just a graphic design concept they drove into the heads of their developers, and wasn't ever planned to be a public product name, as it is not a 'product'.

Also it is a common word found in use, so even if they did Google it, there are hundreds of uses and products and companies that use the term.

Metro AG was named as the reason because when Microsoft's memo to employees to stop using Metro was 'rumored' to be based on talks with a European partner, and Metro AG as the only company with a Metro (TM) that if it was a trademark issue would have standing to pursue a weak case of litigation against Microsoft, as trademarks are not universal and also must have context. (For example Windows (TM) is a common word and used in various other products, especially glass panels you look out in a building. However, Microsoft still has a (TM) for Windows, but it is has to apply specifically to 'Software', and even there Microsoft has been very cooperative by letting software companies use the term as long as it didn't pretend to be Microsoft Windows, which is why see products like "XXX for Windows" or "Windows Utilities" etc...

If Microsoft really wanted to use Metro, all they would of had to do is change the spelling or even change it to Metros or even a variation of the concept. (Note that Window even in the software world is not a violation of Microsoft's Windows (TM). As Neowin can agree, with a product called WindowBlinds.)

However, Metro was NEVER to have been used, and Microsoft was afraid the term was building up too much expose in the public and creating a concept of fragmentation between the new UI and the desktop UI and confusion. This is why they used a placeholder and it was implemented initially as Windows Apps, Windows 8 Apps, and finally Windows Store Apps. (Which conveys that they are Apps that only come from the Windows Store.)

Additionally Windows Store Apps, still have NOTHING to do with the graphic design concept that was used by Microsoft and is still referenced to as 'Metro Style' as it refers to quick information that is easy to read and easy to access, like traffic and Metro signs, which also goes back to all basic print publishing rules as well, from wrap around ads in a newspaper to flow, justification rules, and on and on.


Domain was last modified 10/26/2012, site mentions nothing but the 4 patents and the 'news' and company is based in Palo Alto, CA according to the domain tools

I smell a rat.

scumdogmillionaire said,
The patent system is in disarray when it comes to software. This has to stop.

And yet, it never stops...

So you think that big corporations can do what they want. If we had no Software Patents anyone could rip off anyone else with no consequences. Bad business for that to happen..

scumdogmillionaire said,
The patent system is in disarray when it comes to software. This has to stop.

NeoPogo said,
So you think that big corporations can do what they want. If we had no Software Patents anyone could rip off anyone else with no consequences. Bad business for that to happen..

I am a software developer with a very patentable parts of my product. I think it's BS to patent software ideas personally. Broad definitions have taken over the patent offices and it's impeding technology by people who sit and wait for someone to infringe, then sue, with no intention to do anything with it themselves.

NeoPogo said,
So you think that big corporations can do what they want. If we had no Software Patents anyone could rip off anyone else with no consequences. Bad business for that to happen..

Software patent's stifle innovation. One good example on how software patents have the potential to damage creation is the VLC media player. The only reason that the VLC media player can play pretty much any format under the sun without having to pay royalties is because the software is developed in France. France does not recognise software patent's, allowing VLC to freely develop the software how they see fit. If software patents were enforced with an iron fist, you can pretty much say goodbye to any open source project on the Internet.

SurfCast also had knowledge that Microsoft was infringing their patents and didn't sue them until now, which is ridiculous. And oh really, what damages are they talking about?

ahhell said,
They were probably waiting for Windows 8 to be officially launched.
MS will squash them anyway. "Buy 'em out, boys!"
Like they squashed that company who had patents on some feature of Office? Remind me what happened there... oh yeah... Microsoft LOST and had to alter Office as a result.

testman said,
Like they squashed that company who had patents on some feature of Office? Remind me what happened there... oh yeah... Microsoft LOST and had to alter Office as a result.

That was different. That company (i4i, was it?) had an actual product. This is just a patent troll with no intention of ever developing a product out of it.

testman said,
Like they squashed that company who had patents on some feature of Office? Remind me what happened there... oh yeah... Microsoft LOST and had to alter Office as a result.

Did you ever read the complaint and rulings on that lawsuit?

The technical aspect was Microsoft's use of XML to reference an unstructured XML data store. (For example, a XML link/reference to a block of data specifically content in a Zip file.)

Sound familiar? It is exactly what OpenDocument uses as well.

The twisted irony is Microsoft created this feature in 1997 during the development of Microsoft Office 2000, before i4i obtained their XML patent in 1998. (They probably had an individual that worked with an early Office beta, like I had access to in 1998.)

During the Office 2000 development, prior to the final RC, all Word and Excel files were saved in an XML/HTML format by default, that had unstructured data store references for data that a Web Browser or other HTML engines was unable to handle. This allowed the Word and Excel file formats to be in a STANDARD XML format and fully visible in any Web browser natively, as it presented a standard XML/HTML view that the browser would display.

Microsoft was unable to ship Office 2000 with this feature enabled as the 'default' file format for Word and Excel because of pressure from the anti-trust, and more specifically IBM, Sun and others that claimed Microsoft's use of a standard web viewable format would destroy the internet as users would just use Word documents instead of creating specific HTML content.

This is specifically what Sun lied about when presenting OpenDocument when they called OfficeXML 'immature', because they, like most technically minded people knew tha the OfficeXML concept was nearly 10 years old and existed several years before the OpenDocument consortium first met.

How did Microsoft 'fix' Office so that it no longer violated i4i's patent? They made XML Data Stores 'structured' instead of self defining 'unstructured'.

So ya, Microsoft lost, but it is something that Microsoft's prior art from 1997 and Office 2000 alpha/beta builds should have prevented. However, they were NOT allowed to present this during the trial.

OpenDocument was also in violation of the i4i patent, as it was a fairly simple concept to allow unstructured data to be added to the XML file.

So i4i possibly knew of Microsoft's Office file formats using XML/HTML before they filed for their patent. The patent itself is also kind of shady when you realize it is about referencing an 'unstructured data store' from XML or markup language. Microsoft has proof they built this technology before the patent existed, even if they were not allowed to present it in court.

Now that this is clarified, can you honestly say Microsoft is the bad company in this example and i4i was not patent trolling?

Dot Matrix said,
*sigh* Windows 8 has been around for how long now, and now they decide they're infringing?
Smart move. If they filed before it was released, Microsoft could simply not release it and partly defeat their case. By waiting (and accumulating info in the meantime), they have a bigger case.

Dot Matrix said,
*sigh* Windows 8 has been around for how long now, and now they decide they're infringing?

Its all about the dolla', dolla', dolla'!!!

Dot Matrix said,
*sigh* Windows 8 has been around for how long now, and now they decide they're infringing?

Well, it's actually pretty easy to look into this, since their website is literally nothing but an introduction to their patents. It was also very recently updated to have wording more relevant to the claims they're making in this suit.

Their most recent patent was filed in 2008 and issued in '11. Having gone through the application, I can pretty much say Microsoft has infringed on absolutely nothing. SurfCast's 'tile' implementation is more reminiscent of the wonky OS concepts of the 90s, and their tiles are more like a different way of rendering windows (they have web page tiles, file browser tiles, and other functionally horrifying ideas that would be terrible UX), while Microsoft's tiles are just an evolution of widgets.

Of course, if this gets filed in Texas, Microsoft will lose by default.

Yea in the past 5 days, that is a long time... NOT! Beta/Preview release does not mean the end product will have those features...

Dot Matrix said,
*sigh* Windows 8 has been around for how long now, and now they decide they're infringing?

NeoPogo said,
Yea in the past 5 days, that is a long time... NOT! Beta/Preview release does not mean the end product will have those features...

Was windows Phone 7 a beta as well?

NeoPogo said,
Yea in the past 5 days, that is a long time... NOT! Beta/Preview release does not mean the end product will have those features...

This patent also applies to Windows Phone... which was announced in February 2010... almost 3 years ago.

Max Norris said,
Guess they're not a fan of the new start menu either.

If they weren't why would they claim they had the original idea? besides, if they are right and microsoft copied their idea, its them to be blamed for this new start screen so in both cases they are guilty. you know what I mean?

Max Norris said,

Yea, I know what you mean. I was being snarky. Guess I'm guilty of not using /s too.

Some people will just analyze everything others say

Gaffney said,

http://www.surfcast.com/images/pdfs/US7376907.pdf

They aren't anywhere near Microsoft's method. Essentially his method is actually just iframes.

I think it's complete BS, but the summary does sound an awful lot like Live Tiles.

Now, the implementation is vastly different. I hope that SurfCast burns on their implementation being so specific because their summary is rather broad, and it might cost Microsoft hundreds of millions, which is insanity. In particularly, their actual implementation (ignoring even the code and high level design) does look eerily similar to iframes that let you peek into a small portion of a screen, which would be a nightmare. The only trouble they have to show for it is image 408: the New Mail tile.

Ah, our patent system. Just publish and linger in the shadows, waiting for someone to provide a working implementation of your idea, and then sue. Here's to hoping that their patent is invalidated or deemed unapplicable.

Just a clear case of Micosoft stealing other ideas. GUI anyone?

pickypg said,
I think it's complete BS, but the summary does sound an awful lot like Live Tiles.

Now, the implementation is vastly different. I hope that SurfCast burns on their implementation being so specific because their summary is rather broad, and it might cost Microsoft hundreds of millions, which is insanity. In particularly, their actual implementation (ignoring even the code and high level design) does look eerily similar to iframes that let you peek into a small portion of a screen, which would be a nightmare. The only trouble they have to show for it is image 408: the New Mail tile.

Ah, our patent system. Just publish and linger in the shadows, waiting for someone to provide a working implementation of your idea, and then sue. Here's to hoping that their patent is invalidated or deemed unapplicable.

NeoPogo said,
Just a clear case of Micosoft stealing other ideas. GUI anyone?
Yep. Just name the product example from SurfCast. They've only had 12 years to produce it. Oh, there is none.

NeoPogo said,
Just a clear case of Micosoft stealing other ideas. GUI anyone?

GUI? You need to recheck your understanding of history. Microsoft licensed technology from Apple and Xerox, it was Windows 2.0 that POed Apple and they tried to take back their licensing agreement, which is where the litigation started. (Mainly because Windows 2.0 had overlapping Windows, and was no longer a Tiled UI, which has a bit of irony in the context of this story.)

The basis of GUI is a concept that in itself could NOT be licensed as it technically goes back to the 1800s, as the basis for pixelated input and output was used even by Napoleon for relaying battle orders.

As for stealing, Apple is the one that ultimately was sued by Xerox for use of NON-Licensed aspects of the UI implantation, and Microsoft was found innocent of all but a minor issue with regard to lawsuit from Apple, it was HP and others that did not have licensing deals with Apple that were hurt by the litigation against Microsoft as Apple expanded it to include them since they made shell technologies for Windows.

Microsoft cutting a deal with Apple to loan them money and commit to making Office and IE to get them out of the Red was solely to end the appeals that Apple was going to pursue and to protect HP and others that Apple was going to be able to cause harm.


Also if you think 'tiles' and 'tile UIs' were invented by this company and stolen by Microsoft, you need to take a good hard look at a screenshot of Windows 1.0, or any variation of Live icons used in Windows over the years.

Just because this company tries to define 'tiles' as not programs and not icons by changing the definition of programs and icons alone will probably get the patent revoked, as it is misleading at best.

Xerox struck a deal with Apple for 3 days access to PARC technology in exchange Xerox was allowed to buy 100,000 shares in Apple stock for $10. Apple paid fair and square. The whole idea that they stole the mouse idea is bogus to, Xerox didn't even invent the mouse.